DeepL Translator promises more human-like translations

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 31, 2017

DeepL Translator is a new free online translation service that works similarly to popular services like Google Translate or Bing Translate.

All you do is type or paste text that you want translated into the form on the DeepL website, and to pick the desired target language to get a translated copy of it.

One difference to established translation services is that DeepL Translator supports a limited number of languages right now. You may use the service to translate English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Polish right now to either of the supported languages.

While that limits the use of the service somewhat, as you cannot use it to translate Chinese, Japanese or hundreds of other languages, translations of supported languages appear to be of higher more human-like quality than those by Google or Bing Translate, and other established services.

The company plans to add additional languages -- Russian, Portuguese and Chinese are mentioned -- in the coming months.

DeepL Translator


You can check out the translation service with a click on this link to give it a try. If you use another translation service regularly, you may want to compare results between the two services to conclude which works better for you.

I ran a couple of English to German and German to English tests on DeepL, Google Translator and Bing Translator, and found DeepL's translation better -- but not perfect -- than those by the two other services.

DeepL's use of words appears to be more in context with the meaning, while Google and Bing sometimes use words that are literal translations of words that don't fit in the context.

You may click on any word of the translation to display suggestions on the DeepL website. This is useful at times, as you may correct translation errors this way. Another option that you have is to edit the translated text right away, for instance to add or remove words, or change the wording.

DeepL is created by the same company that has developed Linguee, a language translation tool that was released almost a decade ago.

The translation service is powered by a super computer and the use of convolutional neural networks.

Mobile applications for iOS and Android will be released in December if things go as planned.

Closing Words

DeepL Translator is a high-quality translation service. It is somewhat limited right now in regards to supported languages, but translations of supported languages appear to be of higher quality than those by comparable translation services.

Now You: What's your first impression of DeepL? (via Deskmodder)

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DeepL Translator
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  1. Sam said on October 29, 2019 at 11:50 am

    For me it’s really hard to evaluate a translation tool since basically if I am using it, I don’t know the language and telling whether everything is translated correctly is hard. But still, in order to graduated need to published a few of researches in publications oversees, mainly in Chinese or Japanese and since I don’t know the language I used at first DeepL and then looked for a person to read through it (my last two papers when proofread at https://*** – Chinese journals had no remarks as to the translation). So yeah, if you use a translation tool and look for someone to read and edit that translation, you might have a pretty good result. But but I guess the disadvantage of DeepL is also that you cam translate 100 documents per month, so this tool wouldn’t work well for companies or teams who are regularly translating lots of papers. But the API, on the other hand, solves this problem. That one is definitely worth looking into.

  2. bob said on March 4, 2019 at 10:32 am

    I have been using deepl for 1 year now to do translations. Although not perfect, so far it outperforms all other translators I have tested. If you see an error you can have the word replaced form a list. Start the sentence using a different word, it rebuilds the rest of the sentence.

    Although not 100% perfect , it comes very close and has saved me hours, days of work

  3. pHROZEN gHOST said on November 16, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    For my purposes, I prefer ImTranslator popup bubble translator browser extension. It pops up a small icon when I select text in a foreign language. If I click the icon, the translation appears momentarily.

    I don’t like having to leave a page to do a translation.

    I use Google’s “translate to English” page right click option to translate whole pages.

  4. chesscanoe said on July 6, 2018 at 11:46 am

    It appears that DeepL Pro (€20) at March 20, 2018 is their current emphasis per . Their objective seems to want to sell DeepL Pro to be integrated in a total product developed by others, both now and in the future.

  5. Bear said on July 6, 2018 at 6:42 am

    still no new language added. when new languages will be added. Does anyone have information.

  6. Roger McKeon said on February 12, 2018 at 12:22 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with your closing words, Martin. I have tested DeepL on a difficult philosophical article and on the text of a children’s book. (E->F in both cases). I find DeepL absolutely tremendous. It doesn’t think, of course, but that’s not really the point. Its output is way superior to Google’s or Bing’s and even to the translation of the published children’s book.
    I am a professional translator (retired from the UN after a little over a quarter-century in the salt mines :).

  7. Spanish Translator said on December 16, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    At the end, it doesn’t work better than GoogleTranslate for me. Sometimes gets messy, sometimes includes sentences in English when traslating from French into Spanish, sometimes misses whole paragraphs. . Other times, it translates “guessing” trying to get a brilliant translation that, in most cases, is nosense.

  8. Cristian said on November 24, 2017 at 11:29 am


    Not working anymore with large texts (less than 5000 characters anyway).
    Tested in three different browsers. Cleaned cookies.

    Website does not have any kind of support contact.
    It was great while it lasted…

  9. chesscanoe said on September 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    In a comparison of a German article to English by Google Translate and DeepL, DeepL wins handily.

  10. Barry said on September 13, 2017 at 8:44 am

    @ charlie
    Both Google Translate and Bing translate offer spoken translation

  11. XenoSilvano said on September 12, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I can vouch for DeepL that the Spanish to English translation seems more natural than what Google Translate churns out in spite of a few occasion errors

    I like what is being presented so far, I look forward to the addition of more languages and that the overall results will improve

  12. gimley said on September 3, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Tested it for French and German. Was a bit chary about the outputs, but markedly an improvement on Google. Linguee supports quite a few Asian languages. When can we expect these to pop up. Indic languages!!! Am willing to provide inputs.

  13. Anonymous said on September 2, 2017 at 8:33 am

    waiting for chinese available

  14. Clairvaux said on September 1, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Any idea how they finance themsleves ? I used to think that Google Translate was horrible, but recently it has become markedly better. You can really use it to understand a foreign text, not only to get a vague feeling of what it is about. You need to translate into English, however. Other translations might not be as good.

  15. Charlie said on September 1, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Translator works great. But is there a web site that not only translates but “speaks” back to you the words in the language you translated to?

  16. jasray said on August 31, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche
    Escribir, por ejemplo: ‘La noche está estrellada,
    y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos’
    El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta
    Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche

    Deep L, Bing and Google =

    I can write the saddest verses tonight
    Write, for example:’ The night is starry,
    and shiver, blues, the stars, far away.”
    The wind of the night turns in the sky and sings
    I can write the saddest verses tonight

    Professor of Literature and Native Speaker =

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines
    Write, for example,’The night is starry
    and the blue stars shiver in the distance’
    The night wind revolves in the sky and sings
    Tonight I can write the saddest lines

    1. Ivan said on September 22, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      It’s hard to translate a poem correctly

  17. nikto said on August 31, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    PL-EN = very poor translation and lost words and a sentence does not make sense. EN-PL translation even worse. Used super computer? Probably the ZX-81.

  18. Patrick said on August 31, 2017 at 5:24 pm


  19. Tom Hawack said on August 31, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Quoting DeepL’s homepage,
    “DeepL trains artificial intelligence to understand and translate texts. Now we put it into your hands.”
    Indeed. The result reduces the feeling that the translator is not human :)

    Quite impressive but not perfect. I tested from EN > FR “Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence” and if the translation was 1- understandable and 2- correct, the style was far from being academic. I mean, what you say may be understood and nevertheless improvable in its form.

    Nice find, Martin. I’ll use DeepL Translator.

    BTW, I noticed that DeepL Translator opens in fullscreen if Firefox’s Full Screen API is set to true (default). To avoid sites opening in full screen :
    user_pref(“full-screen-api.enabled”, false); // Default-true

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 31, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      ERRATUM, sorry :)

      I wrote above than DeepL Translator opens in fullscreen, which is true only if
      is set to false (default is ‘true’)

      I had inadvertently set it to false when installing Waterfox … (I mistaked all by myself, the setting was NOT on an external user.js file)

  20. Anonymous said on August 31, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Great and promising tool. Thx! :)

  21. Paul(us) said on August 31, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Lately, I am quite surprised by the contextual spelling checker and spell checker (excellent word and sentence corrector) add-on/WebExtension for Google and Firefox being

    Compert to Lingoes, (Multi-Language Dictionary, and text translation software) you were writing about on October 24, 2010 and the Convert.NET ( is a flexible translation tool) you were reporting about on June 25, 2015 your suggestion from today and are both huge improvements.

    And I concur that this is a significant improvement when you compare it to the google and bing translation who are quite often horrible. I have of course test it more out and translate more over time but from what I tried so far I am quite pleased with your finding and reporting about it in your not only excellent Grammarly style.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on August 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks for sharing Grammarly. I had come across and used the site a few times but was not aware of an extension.

  22. George said on August 31, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Very interesting, thanks.

  23. chesscanoe said on August 31, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I tried translating English paragraphs to French, and the result fed back in to translate back to English. I don’t know if this is a valid test, but the results were impressive.

    1. Jilano said on August 31, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      I tried few “difficult” examples and while it had some troubles with some (like other similar tools), it is really impressive!

      FR > EN
      “Je pense donc je suis” > wasn’t great but the reverse, “I think therefore I am”, worked like a charm!

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